Friday, March 24, 2017

Blood & Other Fluids

I finally got blood from my little turnip!
I took it to the lab for a pregnancy test, but it won't be done for a couple weeks. Remember, she's only 2 years old so we really don't want her to be bred, but she was exposed to a jack. I think she probably is pregnant, but we'll see.

She even forgave me and let me love on her and take her for a walk the day after I traumatized her with a needle. It was late, so we just went up the driveway and back. I need reflective donkey apparel.

Winston had a lovely day at work with me on Wednesday. He had a big squishy bed with two soft blankies, his own space heater, lots of treats and attention, and only had to have an exam, a blood draw, and pee in a cup. He wanted to go back the next day. Actually he gets to go back again today because we have to re-do the urinalysis. He had some crystals and his PH was off. Maybe the urine sat too long. Of course I'm worrying and hoping he doesn't have stones. His blood work looks totally normal.

He's the best. He's just been a little lazy, kind of "down" lately so I wanted to make sure nothing was wrong. Here he's waiting while my sister and her horse play in a water crossing:

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

I Rode!

I had one glorious headache-free day and I wanted to sit in my Synergist saddle. So I rode!

It wasn't as simple as that, of course. I wasn't feeling well and Scout was like a kid on crack, so I was only going to ride for a couple minutes after a few minutes of ground work. My sister was here though, and she hopped on and got his brain engaged. Then I had a nicer ride.

I was a little dizzy but not too bad.  And I really like my saddle. :) Now I need a horse that I can just sit on like a bump on a pickle and go down the trail. But I'm not willing to give up my Duncan, so I'm kinda stuck with what I've got.  I guess I'll keep stealing Scout from John when I can.

We also went to the spring health clinic and had blood drawn for Coggins tests on Scout and Duncan, and tried to draw blood on Juniper but we were unsuccessful. So I guess she won't be hiking in Washington since we can't get a health certificate on her. Also can't get a pregnancy test without blood but I think she is pregnant. Still no signs of heat.

Yesterday I took Juniper for a walk down to the highway at rush hour and she got to see a kid on a bike too. She's so brave! I just love her. Then we spent a lot of quiet time in the stall just being together. It was good. We need to rebuild trust after the fiasco at the vet. Going for walks is good, but quiet time is better.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Way Too Much Fun

I just love these two.

I wanted to practice loading Duncan first, then Juniper. But Juniper is an over-achiever and she knew the answer so she loaded right up. (I think her middle name may be Hermione. She's just like Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter books, always raising her hand and ready with the right answer.)

Then she was confused when I asked her to unload.

She didn't want to share. 

Duncan was happy outside.

Eventually we got things straightened out.

Next weekend we're going to the vet to get blood drawn for Coggins tests and health certificates, and I won't have help, so they'll need to stand tied and behave. So we practiced that.

I groomed them and showed her a saddle pad just for fun. She didn't trust it.

Then I left her tied while I loaded Duncan, and loaded her and tied her and shut the door and scratched their butts for a while. All good.

And then we went for a nice relaxing walk and a snack. What a lovely day. And they're so fluffy and cute together!

Just Half a Day

Yesterday we had just half a day of decent weather. Not glorious, but decent. It was windy and overcast, but warm. There were some birds singing. It felt like spring. I spent all of that time with all of my equine buddies and it was so much fun! Bella had a pedicure, all the horses got dewormed, everyone went for a short walk (mainly just to rinse the mud off in a ditch or pond).

I've let Bella's mane tangle terribly.

They'll come out with a lot of patience and some good detangler.

Duncan and Juniper were happy to come play too. 

I haltered them both and we went for a walk around the pasture. It went pretty well. I'm not sure how it would go if I asked them to line out on a narrow trail. We'd need to practice.

I took Duncan out by himself and Juniper was pretty upset so we stayed where she could see us. He just had one hoof  trimmed and got his gross dewormer, then got to graze a bunch. He was pretty happy.

Juniper got to practice being tied for the first time since being here.  She did fine. One of the things that I learned from the donkey symposium videos is that donkeys generally do better tied than being held by a handler for veterinary treatment or hoof care. At the Donkey Sanctuary they keep a donkey buddy or buddies nearby and tie them, but don't squeeze or confine them. So I tried that and hoof handling went beautifully.

Then we went for a little walk. I had moved the trailer and it looked different inside with both of the dividers open. And because it was on a different incline the door wouldn't hold itself open. I didn't expect her to load with me stuck holding the door open and everything being different, but she took a look and hopped right in without me.

Then, with the goal of having her go into some ponds, we headed down by the creek, which she hadn't seen before. It's high and moving fast. She thought it was interesting.


She didn't much like bushwhacking through the weeds that are as tall as she is, but she did it for me. We waded through some flooded areas that were about 4-5 inches deep & had grass growing, which makes them less scary, but she didn't really want to go into the pond where she couldn't see the bottom. Right then a storm blew in, so we headed back at a donkey hurry, which isn't very fast. :) I even told her pirates were coming for us on the wild waters, but she didn't feel inclined to rush. 

I gotta say, I think I sure got a good one. She's so willing to try stuff out. I love it. 

Of course I love my horses too. It was nice to spend the day with everyone.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Videos & More of the Same

I recently found out that a bunch of videos are available for purchase or rent on Vimeo from the Donkey Welfare Symposium in 2015. It's just 99 cents for all of them! I'm slowly making my way through them. I've only watched a couple training videos so far. I can't wait to watch the ones on nutrition and dentistry. Check them out if you have donkeys or are interested in how donkeys are different.

My headaches are back with a vengeance, so I haven't been playing much with Juniper. I did get her out yesterday for a bit.

First I threw this old saddle up on the gate. She was quite alarmed about it. I was surprised that she'd be so worried.

Then we went for a short walk up the road in the direction she's never been before. We were passed by a neighbor with his hounds in dog boxes in the back of his pickup and a quad on a trailer. No biggie. But the neighbor's mailbox was slightly worrisome. 

When we got home we practiced trailer loading again. You'll have to take my word for it because my phone malfunctioned again and I couldn't get pictures. She ate some of her supplements (alfalfa pellets and Calf Manna), got worried about the dog being somewhere in the yard, got out of the trailer, looked around, got in again, ate some more, turned around and thought about getting out but just looked around instead, then settled in and finished her meal.

That's about it. I'll leave you with this picture of my neighbors hanging out next to my driveway: